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Four o'clock flower-Mirabilis jalapa-pictures

The four o'clock flower-Mirabilis jalapa, this popular garden plant is starting to bloom in July.
The flowers open in the afternoon, that's where the name comes from. They stay open during the night, being pollinated by nocturnal pollinators, like the sphinx moths or hawk moths.

Also called the Marvel of Peru, the flowers of this plant are splashed with different colors, like these yellow flowers with pink- magenta spots. More interesting is that as the plant matures, it can display flowers of different colors on the same plant; the yellow flowers can change to pink or white ones change to light violet.
Four-o'clock flower-Mirabilis Jalapa yellow
Four o'clock plants are shruby perennials in warm climates, growing from tuberous roots. In colder climate the foliage dies back to the ground in autumn but the tubers must be stored indoors during winter and replanted in the garden in spring.
Four-o'clock flower-closeup
The flowers are used for food coloring. Parts of the plant are used in herbal medicine as a diuretic and for wound healing.
Though its black seeds are poisonous, they are used as a powder in cosmetics.
Four o'clock flowers-pink marvel of Peru

11 comments:

Linda Makiej said...

such gorgeous macro shots!! :)

SquirrelQueen said...

I have always loved the bright happy colors of the Four o'clock blooms. My favorite is the yellow and pink combination.

Judy said...

I had never heard of storing the tubers indoors over the winter. What an intriguing idea!! I have always heard of storing the seeds.
I love the colour of that first blossom! Never seen a multi-coloured 4 o'clock before!

Jayne said...

Beautiful flowers. That first one looks like someone splashed some paint on it :-)

Kathy said...

My grandmother had tons of 4 o'clocks when I was a little girl, especially the pink ones. I tried to grow them a few years ago when I lived in Phoenix but it was a little too warm for them. They are quite prolific where I live now in Texas. The tubers can grow especially long and big and can be very difficult to remove if you decide to change your garden.

Cecilia Artista said...

Beautiful flowers and great macro shots!

Roan said...

They sure are beautiful, although I do like the yellow/pink variety the best. Interesting information, too. Love this post!

Ann said...

the strip on the first photo makes it a very unusual flower.

TOREX PHOTO said...

nice collection!

Anki said...

Very intresting about the plants.

amatterofhowyouseeit.com said...

I didn't know Four O'clocks changed colors over time. That pink is so beautifully vibrant!

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